Crashing in Project Management: A Comprehensive Guide
By Donald Patti
Nearly every experienced project manager has been through it. You inherit a project with a difficult or near-impossible schedule and the order comes down to deliver on time. When you mention how far the project is behind, you’re simply told to “crash the schedule”, or “make it happen.”
As a long time project manager who now advises others on how best to manage projects and project portfolios, the term “schedule crashing” still makes me bristle. I picture a train wreck, not a well-designed product or service that’s delivered on time, and for good reason. While schedule crashing sounds so easy in theory, in practice schedule crashing is a very risky undertaking that requires some serious evaluation to determine whether crashing will actually help or hurt.
In this article, I’ll explain the underlying premise behind schedule crashing and describe some of the typical risks involved in a schedule crashing effort. Read the Complete Article
Failed Project Pilot? Chalk It Up as a Win!
By Donald Patti
You’ve just had a failed pilot, followed by a quick meeting with the Project Management Office (PMO). Your project was killed and you feel like a failure.
What should you do next? “Celebrate,” I say, “then chalk it up as a win.”
What? Not the answer you were expecting? Let me explain…
I spend quite a bit of time in a classroom, whether it’s to teach a subject or to learn myself. During one class, the oft-cited Standish Group statistic that measures projects successes reared its ugly head once again, this time citing a roughly 30% project success rate with roughly 45% qualifying as challenged (Standish Group 2009). Per Standish, roughly 70% of projects fail to meet expectations – a sobering statistic.
A project manager sitting behind me who specialized in pharmaceuticals shocked me when she said, “Gee, I wish our numbers were that good [in our industry]. Read the Complete Article
Ten Weaknesses of the Agile Methodology
By Donald Patti
It’s been nearly a decade since Martin Fowler, Ken Schwaber and fifteen other experts in the software industry wrote the Agile Manifesto outlining an approach to software development radically different from the Waterfall model that dominated the 1980′s and 1990′s. Since that eventful time in 2001, Agile software development methodologies, including the use of Scrum, XP (Extreme Programming) and Crystal, are all the rage throughout business and government, attracting praise like a miracle drug. As of early 2010, Agile is till one of the more popular buzzwords in software development.
If you’re in the captain’s chair as a C-Level IT executive (CIO/CTO), the head of software development, the head of your Project Management Office (PMO) for your business, or the lead project manager in a small organization, you may be considering the leap to Agile seriously. The good news is that Agile is working well for many businesses and on many software development projects. Read the Complete Article
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